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TOKYO: Japanese shares inched higher on Friday as financials and energy stocks gained, while the technology sector tracked sharp overnight falls on Wall Street.

The Nikkei share average rose 0.12% to 26,850.53 by the midday break, after trading mostly in negative territory.

The broader Topix rose 0.55% to 1,908.74. “Technology and growth shares fell on Wall Street losses and a rise in US Treasury yields,” said Shogo Maekawa, global market strategist, J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Japanese shares fall ahead of holidays, US FOMC meet

US stocks ended sharply lower overnight, amid a broad sell-off, as sentiment cratered in the face of concerns that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike the previous day would not be enough to tame surging inflation.

There were some gainers in Japanese equities. Investors bought shares that are resilient amid inflation, such as commodities and banking shares, Maekawa said. Oil explorers jumped 5.08% as oil prices rose, while banking sector added 2.77%.

Automaker Toyota Motor provided the biggest boost to the Topix, rising 1.93%.

Banking group Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group climbed 2.74% and trading firm Mitsui & Co jumped 5.03%. Looking ahead, investors are cautious ahead of major U.S economic data.

The US Labor Department will release the closely watched monthly employment report this evening that would clues on labour market strength.

Technology start-up investors SoftBank Group fell 2.48% and staffing agency Recruit Holdings lost 3.48%. Cosmetic maker Shiseido was the biggest loser on the Nikkei, falling 7.67%.

Eisai fell 2.56% after the drugmaker cut its annual profit forecast after Biogen pulled back on selling its controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm.

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